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Bridal Trousseau
Bridal Trousseau
TitleBridal Trousseau
DescriptionPromotional postcard issued by the Free Sewing Machine company of Rockford, Illinois, depicting the trousseau of a bride in the early 20th century.
Historical ArticleThe trousseau of a bride in the early years of this century was often made at home, as her clothes had been made since childhood.

Seamstresses were plentiful and worked in their own homes or went to your home. Some lived with the family for a week or more, until the season's sewing was completed. Then there would be piles of finished muslin underwear, petticoats and nightgowns, tucked, ruffled and embroidery-trimmed, awaiting buttonholes.

This task was usually accomplished by a grandmother, maiden aunt or other member of the family who made her home with the family and used the craft of handmaking buttonholes as a pastime.

Ready-made coats, capes, suits and waists were available in the stores, as were knit underwear and corsets, but there were few women's dresses. Kansas City's official directory for 1909 listed names and addresses of 430 dressmakers, but no dress shops. Seamstresses and music teachers were two fields of work most acceptable for young women.

Fine department stores had their own dressmaking departments, and for special occasions a woman often chose the material, trimmings and pattern at her favorite store, had measurements taken and after a lapse of time and several fittings acquired a well-fitted gown of the latest vogue.

The post card, which is not dated, is a promotional card issued by the Free Sewing Machine company of Rockford, Ill. The company was founded by Will C. Free in 1895 and later united with the New Home Sewing Machine company.

The machine was long-shuttled, powered by foot treadle, came in mahogany, oak or walnut-stained oak and was guaranteed for life, according to the advertising on the back of the post card, which does not mention the price.

Kansas City Times
June 20, 1970

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Clothing & dress
Sewing machines
Wedding costume
Local SubjectAdvertisements
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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